:: March - April 2018 ::

Rova at the Ivy Room in the East Bay, January 21, 2018. Photo: MYLES BOISEN

In This Dispatch:

Rova's 40th Anniversary Plans

Big Ears Festival + SE US Tour

Local Rova Shows

Rova Member Shows

New Rova CD Coming Soon

Deep Gratitude!

Rova T-Shirts!

Rova's 40th Anniversary Plans

In late January, Rova kicked off our 5th decade with a forceful and exultant 3-set show at San Francisco’s storied performance space, The Lab. We revisited and expanded upon pieces we’d previously developed with Wobbly (electronics), and Dohee Lee (voice); and, we premiered an exciting new work, No Distractions, featuring the films of ACVilla. All 3 collaborations were especially effective in the Lab, with its cavernous and resonant space, high quality sound system, and ideal screening capacity. Even with our low-budget and compromised PR function, Rova:Arts was able to get the word out to the community, and the show enjoyed a big, enthusiastic crowd. We came fortified with dozens of our legacy recordings on offer, and graced the entrance of the Lab with performance posters and other paraphernalia from the past several decades.


Jon Leidecker (Wobbly)
Dohee Lee
Rova with Dohee Lee
Bruce Ackley with AC Villa images

We’ve scheduled a couple of Bay Area quartet shows, one in Berkeley in March, and another in San Francisco in May. These shows will feature new works, as well as some older pieces culled from the Rova canon. Legacy Rova compositions always yield new delights, and they’re a gas to play for Bay Area audiences who may never have heard them during their initial tenure in our book.

Rova is thrilled with upcoming appearances at the cutting-edge music festival, Big Ears, in Knoxville, TN. At Big Ears Orkestrova will perform John’s Coltrane’s Ascension, reimagined as Electric Ascension. Famed for its monumental scale and raw emotional power, Coltrane’s milestone recording was released on LP in 1966. It now gets a 21st century redesign by Rova and Orkestrova.

The Knoxville engagement will enable Rova to return to the southeast for concerts in Atlanta, Orlando, Athens, and Tuscaloosa. The band is always honored to get to more remote (for us) regions of the U.S., something that is increasingly difficult to organize, and we look forward to playing new and legacy Rova works in these cities. Location and venue details below.

In May we’re heading to one of the most vital new jazz and improvised music festivals in North America, Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville, which happens annually in Victoriaville, Quebec. Rova will present music from its forthcoming CD, In Transverse Time, to be released on the festival’s Victo label in April. More details about the CD in our next missive, due out early May.

Over the summer we’ll be creating new work in preparation for fall performances in the Bay Area and beyond. Rova member and intrepid business manager, Larry Ochs, is currently seeking Rova work in Europe for later this year; fingers crossed that we’ll have a tour outside the U.S to cap off this 40th year.


Big Ears Festival + SE US Tour

March 18 - March 26, 2018

Big Ears Festival + Southeast US Tour

Sound in Space and Electric Ascension in Knoxville!

Painting by Jeff Schlanger

March 24 @ BIG EARS 2018 at the stroke of midnight: Rova Channeling Coltrane: Electric Ascension

The sonic landscape of Electric Ascension changes with every performance, thanks primarily to Coltrane’s original vision, but also thanks to the spontaneous conduction decisions of Jon Raskin, and the unique roadmap designed by Larry Ochs for each show&emdash;plus, most importantly, the improvised input of the musicians invited to participate. Our Knoxville Orkestrova will feature the four Rova stalwarts on saxophones (Ochs, Raskin, Steve Adams and Bruce Ackley), Electric Ascension “veterans” Nels Cline, Ikue Mori, Jenny Scheinman, and Devin Hoff, and the first-time invitees Cyro Baptista, Yuka Honda, Okkyung Lee, Ches Smith, and Mazz Swift. New comers always have something inspiring to add to this ongoing conversation, first generated by Coltrane more than 50 years ago. You can expect this band to take the music to places it has never flown before.

Rova’s immaculate Blu-ray/DVD/CD package of Channeling Coltrane: Electric Ascension, shot with 5 cameras onstage at the 2012 Guelph Jazz Festival, is worthy of your attention and will be available at Big Ears. Now available at Rova’s bandcamp page.

On March 23, at Big Ears, we’ll also present a Rova-only performance of our Sound in Space set—pieces especially designed for resonant spaces, and which find the quartet moving during the performance to excite a unique and compelling listening experience for the audience.

Over the past 20 years Rova has developed a special repertoire of music that resonates magically in any cavernous space, old hall, church, or special theater—any location that has both a special resonance, and also gives the musicians the option to surround / orbit the audience. The Sound in Space
repertoire was developed for a special performance in April, 2011 at the Berkeley Art Museum in California, in which Rova set the choreography and placement for each piece, even playing from 3 levels of the building at one point during the performance.

Sound in Space refers not only to the relationship of the music to the physical structure of the performance environment, but also to the silences, or spaces, within the music itself: active silences that shape and define flow of the music as much as the sounds created. And, each room affects the music in a unique fashion, so this set of compositions are designed to adapt to the characteristics of any room.

March 18 – Orlando, FL, 7:30 PM
2000 S. Summerlin Avenue 
Orlando, FL 32806 

March 20 – Athens, GA
Trio Contemporary Art Gallery
66 W. Broad Street 
Athens, GA 30601

March 21 – Atlanta, 8:00 PM
First Existentialist Congregation of Atlanta
470 Candler Park Drive NE
Atlanta, GA 30307

March 23 – Big Ears 1 – Sound in Space Project, 2:00 PM
Knoxville Museum of Art
1050 World's Fair Park Drive
Knoxville, TN 37916
March 24 – Big Ears 2 - Electric Ascension, Midnight
The Tennessee Theater
604 S Gay Street
Knoxville, TN 37902
Monday, March 26 – Tuscaloosa, AL, 7:30 PM
University of AL Main Concert Hall
Tuscaloosa, AL


Local Rova Shows

Saturday, March 10, 8:00 PM

Rova Plays Berkeley

The Back Room
1984 Bonita Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704


Friday, May 4, 8:00 PM

Rova Plays San Francisco

SF Live Arts at Cyprian's
2097 Turk Street
San Francisco, CA 94115


Rova Member Shows

Sunday, March 11

Larry Ochs / Donald Robinson Duo in Berkeley

House Concert at Harry Bernstein's
For details and to reserve your place, contact host Harry Bernstein: harry@fullplatemedia.com

Larry Ochs Spectral Tour

Dave Rempis - Darren Johnston - Larry Ochs

Dave Rempis and Larry Ochs, saxes, Darren Johnston, trumpet

Touring with the new CD Empty Castles, available online at Aerophonic Records.

Band info here: http://www.ochs.cc/groups/rempis-johnston-ochs.html

4/12 Champaign, IL, Krannert Art Museum
4/13 Milwaukee, WI, Sugar Maple
4/14 Madison, WI, ArtLitLab
4/15 Minneapolis, MN, Jazz Central Studios
4/17 Cleveland, OH, Bop Stop
4/18 Detroit, MI, Trinosophes
4/19 Chicago, IL, Elastic
4/20 Rockford, IL, One Spirit Center


New Rova CD Coming Soon

New Rova CD, In Transverse Time, on the Canadian label, Victo

Deep Gratitude!

As we round the corner of our 40th year in blow business, embarking on our 41st season and fifth decade, we Rovas gaze with wonder at the incredible support our work has garnered over the years. To the thousands of listeners, Rovistas at every contributing level, collaborating artists, Rova:Arts board and staff, volunteers, funders, recording label folks, radio and Internet broadcasters, music writers, concert and festival organizers, saxophone aficionados and nerds, and our friends and families, we offer our deepest gratitude for your help, making possible these four decades worth of Rova performances, tours and recordings. Your support continues to enable Rova to deepen listeners’ and players’ engagement with adventurous music making, in the Bay Area and beyond. THANK YOU!!!!


Rova T-Shirts!!!

Check out the design below, featuring an image shot by our friend, Finnish photographer, Lauri Nykopp, which is printed on quality black tees. THE SHIRTS ARE VERY LIMITED EDITION. When they’re gone, they’re gone.

Available in XXL – XL – L - M

US: $20 + tax $1.75 + shipping $4 US = $25.75 Foreign: $20 + tax $1.75 + shipping $8 = $29.75

Click here to order your t-shirt


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Stay Tuned

You can stay in touch with all Rova:Arts activities through our website, subscribing to Rova's Radar, and our FaceBook and MySpace pages. See links at the bottom of the page. Also, check out Rova on YouTube!  Subscribe to our channel and be notified when there are new Rova videos for you to watch. Go to http://www.youtube.com/user/ROVAARTSSF and click the subscribe button.

About Rova:Arts

Rova:Arts, formed in 1986 to support the activities of Rova, has been instrumental in producing local projects and advancing an ongoing cultural exchange between local Bay Area artists and the international scene through its Rovaté concert series. These events, made possible by funding to Rova:Arts, have engaged Bay Area musicians and composers—as well as musicians from around the world. Rova:Arts projects are often reproduced in other parts of the world, thereby bringing the work to a broader audience. Also, many Rova:Arts events have been recorded, resulting in releases which have been enthusiastically celebrated.

Click here to find out more and to Join Rova:Arts. If you are interested in getting involved in a more hands-on-way, feel free to contact us: http://www.rova.org/contact.html. Thanks for being part of the art.

Bandcamp! Bandcamp!

We’re now offering both new and impossible to find Rova recordings and other points of interest on our Bandcamp page. Be sure to check out recordings there, including No Favorites, as well as, for example, the long out-of-print 1990 recording Long on Logic that we are making available as a CD download for the first time.

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